Quick response from volunteer fire departments saves home

By Robin McCormick
Emo & Devlin Correspondent

The quick response to an Emo residence by the Emo & LaVallee Volunteer Fire Department last Thursday was able to save a family home from destruction.

At 4:30 p.m. on Jan 18, the family looked out to find their F150 truck in flames, in its parking spot, beside their attached garage. They called 911 and evacuated their home, fearing the worst.

It took just 14 minutes for a team of volunteers to drop what they were doing, get to the fire hall, gear up, drive to the scene seven minutes out of town, and have water flowing.

Tyrell Griffith (Joint Fire Chief for Chapple, Emo and LaVallee) Emergency Services shared with me, “We are all very thankful for the outcome of this situation.”

Although the family lost their truck, they still have their home, he said. But the outcome could have easily been worse.

“Had this happened after everyone had gone to bed, only working smoke alarms would of alerted them to the fire and that would of been after the smoke was already in the house. Given the building construction and location of where the fire started, flames would have likely been well through the attic before any smoke was detected by the alarms inside.” he said.

“Working smoke alarms on every level cannot be emphasized enough.”

Volunteers are the backbone of the local fire service, but without new members, the service, and everyone who depends on it, will be worse off, said Griffith.

“This is a good news story and a win because we had members close by the hall who responded. This isn’t always the case,” he said. “We see it in our local area especially because we live here, but across the entire country we need more people to step up into the roles needed at the Volunteer Fire Departments. There is no way our communities can field a response team without volunteers that step up. Every Ontario community west of Thunder Bay relies on volunteer fire fighters to some degree. More members increase the chances that more people can be close by, trained and able to help when someone dials 911.”

The best news is, the situation allowed this family of four to all be able to be tucked into their own beds last Thursday evening, thanks to a quick response on the Emo & LaVallee Fire Fighters! So on behalf of this family, THANK YOU to our team who dropped it all to help them!